A Response to: Going Above and Beyond by @jackyalcine

Jacky is a friend of mine, and fellow young person here in NYC. I think we’re similar in a lot of ways, and if you look at our skillset, it seems that one of us picks up exactly where the other left off.

Here are my thoughts in response to his recent “Going Above and Beyond” post.

I was turned away because I “overengineered”. I was disheartened not because I was turned away per se, but more for to the reason of the such. I didn’t think that I pushed too hard for the project. It was a simple landing page that collected a few fields from the user. The UX was built from slicing up a PSD but outside of that, it was simple.

Sadly, it is indeed possible to go above and beyond in web development. But, it all comes down to how you look at it. I think that Jacky (correct me if I’m wrong) saw the PSD as an end goal rather than a starting point. I belive that front-end work is an intimate relationship between design and code.

The application could have been easily built by hacking up a page using HAML and then writing a quick-n-dirty PHP script to handle the rest.

Use your backend skills to enhance what the front-end can do. At the end of the day, a website’s design will end up as HTML and CSS no matter how pre-processed it is. And that’s what we have to remember. Use smaller building blocks to enhance that. Bring OOCSS practices to large scale websites with Sass. Write vanilla JS before brekaing out the jQuery, but when you do make it meaningful by enhancing other parts of the site since you’re already including it.

Protip: Make sure you’re coming at a problem from the right angle. If you don’t know what that angle is, then you don’t understand the problem deep enough. Actually, as a designer my job is to solve problems. Sometimes, there are problems where I’m scratching my head trying to understand how to fix them. The only way to make something better is to understand how and why it’s bad in the first place. Not sure how this ended up as a UX rant.

Back to all the things!